Coach Jim Peterson graduated from Morgan Park High School (Duluth) in 1969 as a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track. He went on to run track at UM-Duluth and UW-Superior before serving in the Army from 1969-72, including a stint in Vietnam in 1971. Jim then re-enrolled at UW-Superior where he played halfback in football.
Jim’s coaches were instrumental in his life and he wanted to be the same positive influence on the next generation. As one of the longest serving coaches in the history of RLHS, (44 years, plus 3 years in Clayton, WI and Barnum, MN) he has coached several generations of youth, multiplying the life lessons that were taught to him as a high school and college athlete many years earlier. Coach Peterson has been a staple on the Warriors football sidelines since 1979, a member of the coaching staff that has garnered over 250 varsity wins, most of those years as head sophomore coach and as varsity assistant coach. Jim was named 2015 High School Assistant Coach of the Year for the State of Wisconsin.
Coach Peterson related well to his high school players, perhaps from over 30 years teaching elementary and 6th grade. Jim supports the football players by opening up the weight room early in the morning for summer workouts, and even travels to their college games after graduation.
Jim helped to start the 8th grade girls basketball program at Rice Lake when this opportunity did not yet exist for girls. While coaching his daughter’s youth girls basketball traveling team, the team went an amazing 138-16 over a four-year span in the late 1990’s, winning many tournaments across the Upper Midwest and putting Rice Lake on the youth sports map. Jim is retired from teaching and currently lives in Rice Lake.